Are you a Nurse by calling?

By: Alinyinkira Ritah

Quoting part of our nurses’ anthem, so beautiful, “We have been chosen by God to love and serve, chosen to be nurses, a holy people”, whooa, Every time I think about this I feel so blessed to be part of this God given profession and this always gives me the morale and courage to do my best and with lots of love and compassion.

Florence Nightingale the founder of nursing, born in a wealthy family defied the expectations of the time and pursued what she called her “God-given calling” of nursing. Unfortunately, some practising and studying nursing today have far different reasons from our founder of nursing, i.e. had no other choice, parents’ choice, a stepping stone to join other professions, and the relatively better pay, to mention but a few.

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It takes a great deal of altruism to become a nurse and nursing can only be your calling if you have a solid desire and passion for improving health and taking care of others, the key to a successful nursing career is the passion and desire to ensure others stay healthy, the compassion and love to care for others especially those who are sick and in need of care.

Nursing is both an art and science, it is regarded the oldest of art and the youngest of science and this is all because nursing was originally considered an art, that’s to say “born nurses”, there was no formal education needed but with time, formal education became necessary. To make a complete nurse, you should have both the art and science of nursing and yet the nursing course will only provide you with education and technical skills but not the art or train you to be empathetic and that’s why nursing is a calling.

You are considered to have the art of nursing only if you are Compassionate, Caring, Committed, Courageous, and an effective Communicator. Summing up this art with the science of nursing which entails having the required training, knowledge and competence will make you a complete nurse that will provide holistic care to those in need.

Why this message?

There are many good nurses out there, nurses that are walking the talk of to “love and serve”, nurses that are putting in their whole to care for those in need of care despite the numerous challenges, and I assure you all that this is not in vain.

Sadly, we also have those portraying this noble profession in a negative way, I can’t imagine a nurse having a quarrel with a patient, why shout at a sick person, why should a patient fear to approach you a nurse when you are their primary caretaker, why compare a nurse to a soldier, sorry about this but our communities consider soldiers the most tough and feared and this is not what a nurse should be compared to.

It’s not too late for us to change and become what we were called to be. Looking at a theory by Jean Watson, a respected professor at the University of Colorado, which focuses on the idea of bringing basic love and care into health care in which she states that caring should come before curing. She emphasizes the need of the nurse and the patient to have a connection which she called the “caring occasion”. And out of experience I can boldly say that this is possible.

What should we do then?

Did you know that the act of a nurse reaching a ward for her shift and deciding to greet her patients and asking them how they spent the night or how their day creates a connection between you the nurse and your patients? A very simple act and yet very important and effective, what should I say about a smile, something that is free of charge, God-given, why not share it with others? We are in an environment characterized by a lot of stress, pain and suffering, a smile from a nurse to a patient brightens up this darkness, a smiling nurse is a sign of hope.

Let’s be caring, compassionate, courageous, committed, good communicators and most importantly knowledgeable and competent as we care for our patients, let’s be empathetic, and last but not least let’s pray to God to help us become the best of nurses that he chose us to be.

As I conclude, to my fellow nurses, as you quietly sit back and examine yourself, are you “caring or scaring”, are you “healing or killing”, are you “loving or leaving”, are you “saving or sorrowing” are you being “blessed or cursed”, are you chosen by God to love and serve?, ARE YOU A NURSE BY CALLING?

Food for thought

In case you were currently admitted to the hospital and in need of care, would you pick “you to take care of you”? what does this mean? that let’s treat others exactly the way we would love others to treat us in case we were in their shoes. Let’s be Empathetic.

The writer; Alinyinkira Ritah is a BSN NURSE, ANO working with Bugiri District Local Government

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